Thursday, November 17, 2011

Important: Even mini-stroke prevention

A somber story from USA Today and reported elsewhere: 'Mini-strokes' can shorten life expectancy.
The study calculated life expectancy by comparing mortality rates among people who had TIAs with other people of the same age and sex. Life expectancy declined steadily each year. After nine years, almost half of the TIA patients had died — 20% more than in the general population, according to the study of 22,000 people published Thursday in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.

While having a TIA didn't substantially increase the risk of death in people younger than age 50, the attacks did increase mortality for those older than age 65. About 5 million Americans have had a TIA, according to the heart association.

TIAs are "very bad harbingers," says Nehal Mehta of the University of Pennsylvania's School of Medicine, who wasn't involved in the new study. Up to 10% of TIA patients have a major stroke within 48 hours, the American Heart Association says.
This is not a scare tactic, but a reminder that stroke prevention is clearly important, especially those people older than 65.

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